From Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Having spent almost two decades in active academic service, and coupled with diverse participation in both local and international research engagements; I used to think that I had the most, if not all, of the requisite research skills necessary for making an impact in my immediate society. This has been my psyche until I got nominated by my Vice Chancellor, to participate in the 19th edition of TETFund’s Research for Impact (R4i) initiative. The theme was so captivating that I had to run a quick internet survey on the R4i program. The details I found in respect of this unprecedented collaboration between TETFund and Innov8 Hub left me in a stern quagmire. On one hand, I was trying to keep to my 17 years-old research attitude; while on the other hand, I was reflecting on whether those 17 years were actually innovative and solution-driven.
Upon arrival at Innov8 Hub, I was flabbergasted by a sequence of unquantifiable, thought-provoking, positive experiences. The atmosphere of warm reception, the ceremonious welcome address, the brief but marvelous familiarization tour, the series of educational and interactive lecture sessions; as well as the hands-on interactions with the Project Managers, have really left an indelible mark in my heart. The highlights for me included research psyche changing, innovative drive, commercialization of research, emotional intelligence, viable idea prototyping, business model development and lots more. It is indeed an initiative that nurtured an intensive, practical-oriented training via innovation and development boot camp.
Personally, I saw my R4i experience as an exceptional lifetime opportunity to witness the thrill of innovation management and value creation. These have all been practically proven beyond doubt, to all participants through intense provision of in-depth insight of the means of attending to our immediate societal necessities. To such effect, R4i has really provided us with the principles, processes, platform and procedures of innovative research, development ideation, implementation management and value creation. These core values evidently formed the multidimensional aim of the R4i exercise with the visible objective of translating research activities in Nigerian tertiary institutions to innovations, inventions and solutions for practical application and commercialization.
At this point, I can confidently and without any fear of being hyperbolic, say that I am a 100% changed academic whose research awareness has magnificently shifted from research for promotion to research for innovation, geared towards invention and commercialization.